Governor Noem vetoes two Senate Bills

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Thursday, Governor Kristi Noem VETOED Senate Bill 108, which would enable underage South Dakotans to consume alcohol as part of college courses. SB 108 does nothing to limit the sale, service, or consumption of alcohol to specific class locations or specific class times. You can find Governor Noem’s VETO letter here.

“[The] flawed language creates potential loopholes that pose problems for law enforcement,” wrote Governor Noem in her letter. “Officers encountering underage students with alcohol on their breath or in their system must determine if this exception to underage drinking law applies before writing a citation. We should respect the work of law enforcement by not needlessly making their jobs any tougher.”

SB 108 amends a 2020 statute which allows alcohol on campuses so that classes could be created under a specific set of protections. That legislation prohibited underage students from participating in courses that produced and consumed alcoholic beverages. SB 108 would completely undermine the intent of the 2020 legislative compromise that allowed these classes to be created.

“The sponsors have cited workforce as their reason for bringing this legislation,” continued Governor Noem. “While I appreciate their acknowledgment that South Dakota has the strongest economy in the nation, I don’t believe that allowing underage students to consume alcohol will solve specific workforce issues. Those industries have continued to grow and thrive, both before and after the legislation I signed only three years ago.”

Governor Kristi Noem VETOED Senate Bill 129, which would treat teachers and school employees the same as law enforcement officers in instances of assault in their official duties. You can find Governor Noem’s VETO letter here.

“South Dakota already has a strong and fair criminal justice system, and school districts have robust disciplinary policies tailored to address behavior within their districts,” continued Governor Noem. “The changes SB 129 would make open the door for additional occupations to ask for special treatment under the law.”

The current statute provides sufficient accountability for anyone who assaults a school employee.

Governor Noem has signed 118 bills this legislative session and vetoed 3.